BREST reactor under construction in Russia (Photo credit: TVEL)Russia’s Siberian Chemical Combine (SCC – part of Rosatom’s Fuel Company TVEL) has signed a contract with Atomenergoproekt (part of Rosatom’s Engineering Division) for the design of the used fuel reprocessing module, which will support operation of the Brest-OD-300 reactor.

The reactor is part of the pilot demonstration energy complex (ODEK), being built under the Proryv (Breakthrough) project in Seversk, Tomsk Region. The complex, when completed will comprise a fuel fabrication-refabrication module (MFR) producing mixed uranium-plutonium nitride (MNUP) fuel, as well as the fuel reprocessing module and Brest, which is a lead-cooled fast neutron reactor. Completion of work under the contract is scheduled for 2024. 

This will include complex engineering surveys and development of design documentation, which will be sent to Glavgosexpertiza for approval. The next stage will be development of working documentation for construction, obtaining a construction licence  and development of equipment for the facility.

The reprocessing module is based on a combined pyrochemical-hydrometallurgical technology, which will make possible the reprocessing of used fuel from Brest with various burnup rates and he production of powders for subsequent refining of fresh fuel. The aim is to demonstrate a closed on-site fuel cycle on a single site.

Construction of Brest started in June 2021, and it is expected to start operating in 2026. A fuel production facility will be built by 2023 and the construction of an irradiated fuel reprocessing module is scheduled to start by 2024.

The Breakthrough Project is part of a wider programme – "Development of equipment, technologies and scientific research in the field of atomic energy use in the Russian Federation for the period up to 2024". The programme, developed by Rosatom, is being implemented jointly with the Kurchatov Institute and the Ministry of Science and Higher Education. It includes the development of new advanced technologies and materials, technical re-equipment, the construction of unique complexes and infrastructure facilities in the nuclear field and other promising energy technologies.

Photo: BREST reactor under construction in Russia (Photo credit: TVEL)